15 Years

Middle Boy had been wanting a sxs .410 to rabbit hunt with. I kept trying to tell him that with his advancing age which will bring on deterioating eyesight that he would be better off with a 20 ga or even a 12. But, alas, he listens to me now no better than he did at 12. Beside, he told me he plans to have my 20 ga Yildiz in fifteen years. I suppose he thinks I will have passed by my 78 birthday. I plan to stay around just to spite him. An now might even give it to Baby Boy. Anyway, Middle Boy has a acquired a Yildiz .410 sxs from Academy. Pretty much the same as my 20ga. These are light and affordable guns imported from Turkey.

Since it was just Middle Boy and myself, I provided most of the entertainment
The first rabbit I missed was just one of my usual misses. He hopped out on the road, saw me when I saw him. His reflexes were just better. Before I had time to do more than widen my eyes at the unexpected bunny, he spun into some thick bushes. A desperation shot tore the bush apart, but he had never slowed down

The next miss was worse or as Middle Boy said, the funniest thing he had saw in a long time. Let me set the stage for you

We jumped one rabbit in a long relatively narrow briar patch that was bordered on one side by a pasture and the other was a hardwood bottom that was completely bare of vegetation.
I standing on the far side of the bottom looking at Middle Boy standing in the briar patch waiting for the rabbit to cross. I had my gun under my arm as I focused the zoom and watched intently, not hardly breathing. And I waited.

Finally, Middle Boy noticed me and asked what I was doing. As I told him, he said “What moved next to you? I looked down to see the rabbit sitting next to my left foot. There I was camera in both hands, gun in the crook of shoulder as the rabbit sprinted into the bushes behind me. Trying to one hand the camera and attached tether  into the vest and raise and aim the shotgun with the other hand

proved to be a impossible task

We closed out what was supposed to have been a couple of hour hunt about two in the afternoon . And “We” got two rabbits

“We got 3”

Thank goodness for the “We” system. Charles Pearson and I got three rabbits today on a light hunt at Mr. Daves house. rabbit hunting in waterIt’s always good to hear somebody else praise your pack of dogs. And when it’s a fellow dogman, it’s all the sweeter.

Charles had me put one of his tracking collars in my vest. Whether this was because of the fact that I got a little turned around the other day on the skunk hunt or because it gave Charles an edge on rabbit killing is open for debate. Some of you know I used to carry a compass. A compass is a great tool for keeping lost in only one direction.

We jumped the first rabbit at the edge of Mr. Dave’s driveway and he led The Rabbit Journal Pack on a long race in the woods between his house and the huge field below. To make it even better, most of the race was in areas that had sheets and pools of water. Mr. Dave took the first two shots, missing both after having to jerk his foot out of the way of the charging rabbit. Then Charles killed it.

The second rabbit came when Charles jumpshot a rabbit after a long fruitless circle that ended back at Dave’s house. That means the first two rabbits were Dave’s yard rabbits.

The third came when the dogs crossed the road onto someone else’s property. Charles killed this one. According to him the rabbit was a streaking blur through thick brush that was juking left and right, even while in the air. Rabbit hunters are worse than fishermen.

I’m the man behind the camera

more than I’m the one getting his picture took.

One of the hardest things to do is get a natural picture. It’s one thing to take a group picture with the days bag, but its quite another to take one of someone with the rabbit they had just killed. Everybody seems to strike the same pose

20160220_121425 20160220_093206 rabbit hunt martin luther king day tornado mlk 013 rabbit hunt richland 005 - CopyI could look back through the archives and find hundreds of pics that are the same.

Of course Middle Boy snapped a picture of me when I was making fun of the pose

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Some times you make them, Sometimes you break them

I remember when we took djmed’s boss on his first rabbit hunt. We took him to Mr. Murphy’s near the old Salem Shotwell Bridge. We broke him.
In hindsight, We should have taken him to a place that was more ameniable to the first time rabbit hunter. Mr. Murphy had someof the toughest cane briars I’ve ever seen. The only way to move around in some sections was to pick up a length of wood, throw it on the briars to bend them over. Raise your foot up high and walk to the piece of wood. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It probably didn’t help that I told him to wlak up about twenty yards. Reflecting on the hunt, I suppose that djmed was lucky he wasn’t fired.

On last Saturday’s hunt we had two newbies, a grown man and a thirteen year old, Gregory.
We had a long race, one where the rabbit circled us twice, once passing immediately behind us undetected. I was to busy watching Gregory fidget and the rabbit was a long way ahead of the dogs.

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Sweeping Declarations

Famous Last Words
Our statements often come back to haunt us
Hey Ya’ll! Watch this
Relax, you can’t get pregnant your first time
This will sting just a little bit
I am never getting drunk again
Just grab him by the tail. They never bite
I’m really quitting smoking this time
We will get 12 to 16 rabbits today

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Heard from Brag

the other day.

Herabbit hunt pookies 049 was supposed to be on his way to Las Vegas with his lovely bride. But I hear tell that she fell sick and they had to put off the trip to March, after rabbit season. I’m still wondering what he put in her food.

Scouting trip

It was good that Middle Boy showed some mercy on the old man today. We, as in Middle Boy and I, went to Buena Vista to hunt 80 acres that will be available to us next year and see if we could find more acerage. With The Alabama Conservation Board becoming more and more the Alabama Deer Hunters Advisory Board, the extension of deer season in the North Zone seems very likely and then the extension until the end of February push will begin.
Middle Boy who will run in the Boston Marathon this year could have easily out paced me, instead he matched his pace to mine and allowed the dogs to hunt. I tend to match my hunting style to who I hunt with. With Brag and Middle Boy, that means a walk them down hunt, where they try to jump the rabbit for the dogs rather than let the dogs hunt

The planted pines were a little past their prime and starting to shade out the briars and brush. The only briars were an abundance of wire briars, just right for garroting those in a hurry or sending you face down. The rest of the property loooked like it was managed for hay with large briar patches near the edges. There were two factors that favored the rabbits. The owner actively worked on coyotes and long lengths of old hog wire. The cottontails had the hog wire down pat. They would scoot to the other side right after being jumped causing the dogs to detour looking for an opening. It didn’t’ take Middle Boy and myself long before one of us just hung out at a patch of hogwire.

“We” killed three little cottontails, or as Charles calls them “hillbillies” out of eight races.
Middle Boy 2
me 1

Pookies the limited rematch

or WaterWorld; to late in the day
No not that hunt or this one

I actually thought at one point that my headline would be
“Plunkerrabbit hunt djmed dyron 026 had the high score” which is something I don’t ever recall writing. And I still haven’t
Plunker was highman that morning up until we moved towards what Brag calls waterworld. Waterworld is a long relatively narrow swamp filled with thick briars and rabbits. Every ant mound, log, and stump had buck pills on them. That’s not even mentioning the ones just scattered in the grass.
Brag has no one but himself to blame for the late start there. I offered to start the dogs there the first thing that morning.
The first race that afternoon was near the edge of Waterworld and the rabbit carried the dogs out of hearing twice in different directions. Everyone was pronouncing “Buck”. Turned out it was small cottontail that Brag took plus three or four more to bump Plunker from highman spot